Thursday, October 30, 2014

10 Free Things to do in the Fall when you just HAVE to Get Out

As summer ends, I find that we stay inside more and more.  Because it's just easier to do STUFF outside in the summer.  The weather is way more conducive to outside activities.  And trying to get out of the house in the fall can be tricky because it seems like everywhere indoors costs money these days.
So I came up with 10 things to do outside in the fall.  Some might require some bundling up, but it's all worth it.

1. Take a hike
I am so lucky to live close enough to parks and rivers along which we can hike or walk.  Fall is a great time to hike - not too hot, not too cold.
(Okay yes, this was taken in the summer, but imagine how it looks when we hike now with all of the yellow, orange, and red trees. So beautiful!)
There is also a stream not too far away.  It's too cold to get wet, but throwing rocks is ALWAYS fun.

2. Rake Leaves!
I love raking leaves and the kids love to mess up everything I have raked.  Luckily we know raking is really not that important.  The leaves WILL biodegrade under the snow.  I love the look of pure joy on their faces as they jump in the piles and throw the leaves in the air.
My son still has his helmet on because we had just been biking.  (See #8)

3. Go to the Library
I love spending time at the library.  I love being surrounded by books.  I love that they are all beautifully order.  And I do love a little quiet.  
Going with the kids is amazing.  Seeing their excitement over the possibilities thrills me.  They can sit and read them there or take them home.  My daughter always claims she doesn't want any more books, yet always manages to emerge from between the shelves with a stack of books almost bigger than her. 
I really hope that I instill a love of reading in my children.
Also be sure to check out what events your library has.  There are books clubs, lego clubs, yoga classes, school bus rides and so much more happening!  Some has to be signed up for in advance, but for some things you can just pop on it.

4. Go to the Playground.
Playgrounds are not just for summer!  We will go in the dead of winter.  In fact, I love the "off-season" when we get the playground to ourselves.

5. Do a Fall Scavenger Hunt
Find items and have the kids take pictures of them.
Some list examples could include:
orange leaf
green leaf
leaf from a deciduous tree
needle from an evergreen tree
Another super fun scavenger that we have attempted multiple times, but never completed involves trying to locate the letters of the alphabet as formed by the surroundings.  This could be done outside or inside.
For example, the corner of this book is the letter "L":

6. Draw Outside with Sidewalk Chalk
It's always fun to bundle up and make a mural in the driveway, walkway, or even the deck.
We got buckets of chalk from Five Below.

7. Take a Pet (or a neighbor's pet) for a Walk
Walks are a fun time to talk and teach kids their way around the neighborhood.  Fresh air is wonderful and something that we often don't get enough of when it's cold and we want to remain cooped up in the house.  Get out! Get exercise!  Your pet will thank you.

8. Bike!
Just put on some gloves and get back out there before the snow and ice come.

9. Find a Place to See Animals for Free
This is really very cool.  I had no idea that these things were available, but there are animal sanctuaries that you can visit without having to pay.  We found one for owls and also one for other animals.  It had local wildlife and even a bobcat someone tried to keep as a pet until it got too big.

10. Check your Local Fire Station.
This is another super cool idea.  We have gone to open houses at our local fire company for the last couple of years.  Fall seems to be the time to do it - not too hot so the fire can be controlled and not too cold so people still want to be outside.
We always have so much fun.  There are rescue demonstrations, stations where the fire fighters teach the kids to use smoke extinguishers, fire truck rides, and even more.
I think that this picture is from a couple years ago.  That is one of the antique fire trucks they used for the rides.

So it's getting colder, no excuse not to get out!
What do you like to do in the fall?

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